Peelle Escalators Discovered Encapsulated at Starr Building, TX

Peelle Escalators Discovered Encapsulated at Starr Building, TX

November 9th, 2011

This has to be one of the coolest articles I’ve read in a while. While we often hear about elevator shaft ways being walled in only to be discovered years and decades later in old buildings and residential properties it’s not every day you read about a pair of escalators being discovered.  The actual article was written by a representative from Peelle. For more information visit but remember that they no longer make escalators as the article below points out.

For Immediate Release

Recently a pair of Peelle Escalators were discovered after being hidden by flower boxes for almost 40-years. Originally installed in 1955, the five story, 76,375 square foot building housed the American National Bank; it was the first major example of modernist architecture in Austin, TX, it included a full walled modern art mural and possibly Austin’s first escalators.

In 1971 the building was later purchased by the State of Texas for the Controller’s office. In an effort to demonstrate fiscal responsibility they suspended use of the Peelle escalators to conserve energy. The state enclosed in the escalators and built flower boxes on both levels. In a developer recently purchased the building for multi-use and renamed it The Starr Building.

During remodeling the Peelle escalators installed some 40 years earlier, long since forgotten, were discovered when the contractor removed flower boxes. They powered the Peelle escalators and they operated; the owner has contracted an elevator maintenance company so a proper evaluation and modernization can be made.

Although Peelle no longer manufactures escalators the story is a testament to the quality Peelle places on all of its product lines. For more information contact Mike Ryan @

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